fe·​roc·​i·​ty | \fə-ˈrä-sə-tē \

Definition of ferocity 

: the quality or state of being ferocious the ferocity of the lion's attack

Examples of ferocity in a Sentence

the ferocity of the lion's attack We were stunned by the ferocity of the storm.

Recent Examples on the Web

That certainly lines up with the ferocity of the protests against legislative efforts to repeal the A.C.A. in early 2017 — and with the comparison to the energy of anti-Obamacare forces in earlier years. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "Two Words That Could Shape the Politics of the Trade War: Loss Aversion," 13 July 2018 Wasikowska’s performance as Penelope is arresting, if also a bit unmodulated in its spitfire ferocity. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Robert Pattinson delights in the sly, archly comic western 'Damsel'," 21 June 2018 The protests have been stunning in their ferocity and geographic reach, spreading to far-flung towns and cities that are strongholds of the middle and working classes. . . . James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump’s true priorities revealed in holiday news dumps," 2 Jan. 2018 But within minutes, the conflagration was crawling up and around the facade of the 24-story public housing bloc with astonishing speed and ferocity. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "‘Trapped like a cat in a cage’: London’s Grenfell Tower survivors look back on the deadliest fire in modern British history," 13 June 2018 The 2014 Oso landslide in Snohomish County, which killed 43 people and buried an entire community, stunned geologists with its reach, speed and ferocity. Sandi Doughton, The Seattle Times, "Can experts predict collapse at Washington’s Rattlesnake Ridge?," 21 Jan. 2018 Seasoned observers of Iran have been stunned by the ferocity, speed and scope of these protests. Marc Lynch, Washington Post, "What are the lessons of the Arab uprisings for Iran’s protests?," 2 Jan. 2018 If all that wasn’t bad enough for the Poles, the heavens opened with ferocity on the day of the match, turning the pitch into a quagmire and the outcome into a lottery. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 5 Days to Go - What if it Hadn't Rained During Poland vs. West Germany?," 9 June 2018 Baseball not immune to Mother Nature's ferocity Harsh weather has played havoc on residents and baseball teams in parts of the Midwest and eastern parts of the U.S., causing an alarming number of games to be postponed. Editors, USA TODAY, "James Comey's book, Tax Day, Arizona teachers strike: 5 things to know Tuesday," 17 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ferocity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ferocity

1606, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for ferocity

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ferocity

The first known use of ferocity was in 1606

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More Definitions for ferocity



English Language Learners Definition of ferocity

: a very fierce or violent quality : the quality or state of being ferocious


fe·​roc·​i·​ty | \fə-ˈrä-sə-tē \
plural ferocities

Kids Definition of ferocity

: the quality or state of being fierce or savage

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Comments on ferocity

What made you want to look up ferocity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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